Ab Workouts – Muscular Strength vs Muscular Endurance

Muscular strength is different from muscular endurance when it comes to ab workouts. Both types are very good at helping people lead a healthy, fit lifestyle and keep the body strong. However, if you want ripped abs, your best choice would be muscular strength training. You will get faster results!

People often have an ideal image of how they want to look, which determines what type of exercise program they should follow. If looking lean and muscular is your goal, then going for a long run will not be effective.


Muscular endurance activities will condition your body to perform well for that activity. The long, low intensity activity will require your muscles to be light, lean and sleek to be able to last for long distances or durations.

Muscular strength training is very effective at increasing the body’s metabolism. The increased size of the muscles causes the body to work harder to supply energy to the bigger muscles, which results in more calories burned and greater fat burning.

The increased muscular activity burns the food that we eat and when the body needs more fuel, it will use the excess body fat and burn that. When the body starts burning more fat, the abdominal area of our body will begin to show the underlying abs and give us more ab definition.

Resistance training with heavy weights and low repetitions forces the muscles to hypertrophy and increase its overall muscle activity. The increased intensity of the activity will cause a buildup of lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Once the muscles slow down its intensity, the body will then deliver more oxygen to the muscles, to help replenish and remove waste products.

When the exercise intensity slows down or stops, the body will then continue to send oxygen to the muscles to remove waste and replenish the muscles to prepare for the next bout of exercise or activity. What also ends up happening is the body continues to replenish and repair the muscles, well after the exercise session and the body ends up burning fat throughout the day and night.

Having muscular endurance is good for general health and fitness. But if you want killer abs, you need to train for muscular strength. Training for strength will turn your body into a fat burning machine that will get you the rock hard abs that you’ve dreamed of.

Thoughts On Improving Muscular Endurance in Women

People often times get confused about what muscle endurance is and how to train to improve it. This is especially important in training women since many are afraid of “bulking up”.

First of all, muscle endurance is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to repeatedly contract without fatiguing. If you were riding a bicycle for a 40 miles, the thigh and leg muscles would be demonstrating their muscular endurance as they would be contracting with each pedal stroke for this distance.

muscle endurance

Muscle endurance is not the same as cardiovascular or aerobic endurance which illustrates the ability of your body to deliver oxygen to the body tissues. One would have a different workout emphasis to improve the heart and lungs and blood delivery of oxygen to the tissues than for muscular endurance as the emphasis. At the same time, training for one dimension of health like muscle endurance in the bicycling example, doesn’t preclude you from improving cardiovascular endurance. Chances are you would improve both even if that is not your goal.

Secondly, I am writing about muscle endurance because, as a female, I often hear women say they want to participate in a weight training program but not if they are going to “bulk” up. Commonly the trainer leading them in such a routine will suggest the use of lighter weights with many repetitions so they can improve muscular endurance in lieu of getting bigger muscles.

As a certified personal trainer, a university professor, and a woman with many years of experience in health and fitness from a variety of perspectives, this desire to “tone up” rather than “bulk up” always serves as a source of discussion for me.

First of all, women don’t have the testosterone levels to significantly increase the size of their muscles. Pick up an exercise physiology text and you can read the research that documents such. Secondly, women, especially pre- and post-menopausal women, need to lift a decent amount of weight to stimulate bone health which is decreasing as we age. Bone loss is especially substantial in the years following menopause. Another reason to engage in a weight routine with some “healthy” amount of weight, is to prevent sarcopenia, a loss of muscle mass which is usual with the aging process.

Bone loss or poor density can translate into fractures. Loss of muscle mass demonstrates a loss in strength. Both indicate a decreased ability to accomplish daily life tasks and ultimately, independent living can be the cost.

What would I suggest as an appropriate program for muscle endurance? Choose a weight for each exercise that is about 65% of the maximum weight you can lift in that exercise. For instance, if you can leg press 100 pounds, then you should have about a 65 pound load to train for muscle endurance. Press this 65 pound load for more than 12 times or repetitions. Rest 30 seconds, Repeat. Perform 2 or 3 sets of this exercise. Advance to the next muscle or muscle group and use the same “routine”.

Too many times, people are not engaging the principles that allow them to build muscle endurance. Too frequently, one set is performed and then a person “chats” with someone nearby and 5 minutes has passed before attempting the second set. For endurance, the rest periods must be short. Also, in many cases, the weight is too light for the benefits of helping the muscle “endure”.

If your goal is to build the endurance of a muscle, then you must lift the appropriate weight (about 65% of max for that exercise) and have short rest periods (less than 30 seconds). With such a program, a person will build some level of strength because you can’t improve endurance without some improvement in strength. But, the overriding improvement will be in the endurance of the muscle.

Women won’t likely increase the size of their muscle with this programming but they will achieve greater benefits by a heavier weight and shorter rest periods that are closely monitored and recorded than from previous “random” attempts at lifting without enough weight and rest periods of too great a length.

Finally, what if a woman gains a little muscle mass? If improving bone health and muscle endurance and strength is achieved so that quality of life is improved, isn’t this a small cost?!

Muscular Endurance Training

Increase you stamina with muscular endurance training, short bursts of exercise and the long tedious endurance are both beneficial to the heart, don’t think the endurance training is only for marathon athletes simply playing football , swimming or cycling is classed as endurance training.

It has been found that a person who cycles stationary at a moderate intense speed for 40-60 minutes 3 days a week or 6 sets of shorter busts at 30-40 seconds allowing a recovery period of 4 minutes improves the arteries function and helps prevents the risk of disease, this builds up your stamina without this any exercise over a long period of time will be difficult with the lack of endurance.

endurance training

Aerobic endurance with this training the body is pushed to meet the intake of oxygen and fuel, as the body will only cope without oxygen for a short period of time that’s why endurance exercises are important as it helps produce energy for the body, which in turn improves the cardiovascular system and helps the blood flow and oxygen to circulate around your body.

With the modern sports of today stamina has become more recognized that’s why it is very important to engage in endurance training especially for sports like football, swimming or basketball where you are involved in short bursts of endurance over a long period in a game or race, but like any exercise only push yourself to what you body can cope with as you do not want to cause injury to your body, also remember to couple your training with the proper nutrition for your body to sustain any type of endurance training.

How to Increase Your Muscular Endurance

Most people do not have very high muscular endurance. This is the ability to keep your muscles going over long periods of time without getting too tired. For many, it’s not something that is ever attained as it’s not trained hard for at all. Find out what you can do to improve this in your body.

You have to train with endurance and really push yourself for you to ever get to these types of fitness levels. There is nothing wrong with normal routines for overall health or weight loss, but endurance routines will be pushing you each time that you do the workouts. Do a little more each workout to push yourself a bit further.


You can train this type of endurance through cardio workouts. These would be things like jogging, ellipticals, cycling, jumping rope, or other forms of cardio. You need to be doing these multiple days a week for best results. Each time you workout push for a little more distance in less time. You want to go further faster. The best way to train for this is through high interval training. This means that you have periods of very high intensity that you are going all out mixed with intermediate intensity where you are taking more of a break.

You can also train this endurance through weight lifting as well. When you want to build endurance, you are going to use lighter weights. The reason is that you are going to push yourself until you can’t do another repetition at all. This is best done with lighter weights as opposed to heavy ones that you can’t lift that much of at all.

You can also focus on the foods that you are eating especially before needing your endurance. Get in food into your body like carbohydrates to help fuel your body and give you a bit extra energy that can turn into more endurance.

How Muscular Endurance Can Benefit Your Health

Muscular endurance is necessary if you are involved in strength sports like bodybuilding and weightlifting. However, it is also a must even for those of us who aren’t into any kind of endurance sport but depend on mobility and flexibility every day of our lives. Having good muscle endurance influences how we move about doing our everyday activities and how well we do them.

Everyday, people work out to achieve certain fitness goals and to have good overall health. One of the ways we determine our overall good health is to test our muscular endurance. Athletes work out and do intensive exercise routines in order to build up mass and strength so they can perform at their best.

Muscular endurance

They are tested for their it based on their age, gender and physical abilities and to be ready and prepared, they follow a healthy diet in addition to doing their exercises regularly. In addition, they also take sports supplements to enhance their performance, increase their energy and to take care of their muscles. This is the overall concept on which sport nutrition is based.

The body adapts to how it is trained. Training for muscular endurance for a cyclist is different from that of a runner, a swimmer or a bodybuilder. The amount of sets, weights and reps will vary as well as the time for recovery between each set and session. However long the recovery time is, it is important that the muscles have ample time to do it and this means ingesting quick-absorbing protein to help this process along. The quicker the muscles recover, the better it will feel for the next set of reps.

Muscular endurance is when your muscles are able to withstand a force exertion greater than being at rest for a significant amount of time. Athletes challenge their muscles to do just that but not without the help of sports supplements of course. Resistance training requires rest and when you exert force like lifting weights for example, certain nutrient stores in the muscles get depleted (like glycogen) and when you rest, your stores get replenished. Not resting between sets will force your body into a state of lactate production. It is training the pathways of energy production that use oxygen, so you can do your reps longer and without feeling tired easily.

It also benefits your health by helping you fight fatigue, reduce physical ailments like back injuries and slows down the aging process. Taking supplements that contain creatine, BCAAs and beta alanine ensure that you maximize your training by increasing your muscular endurance so you can keep working out to achieve your fitness goals faster by strengthening your muscles and delaying muscle fatigue. You achieve a well-defined physique as well because most supplements available today inhibit fat stores and just lets you develop lean muscle.

So when do you know you have good muscular endurance? The results vary really, because not all of us are created equal in the fitness department. However, good muscular endurance may be determined by committing yourself to doing a well-rounded routine on a regular basis.